Real estate bylaw amendments to create “attractive” investment climate: minister
Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouly - YOUM7/Salah Said
By YASMINE SAMRA

CAIRO: The real estate bylaw amendment of the New Urban Communities Authority (NUCA) will be completed within two months, Minister of Housing Mustafa Madbouly announced Monday, reiterating that the amendments will create an “attractive” investment climate.

In his speech at Egypt’s Real Estate Summit (ERES) conference, which kicked off Monday, Madboulysaid amending the bylaw will also stamp out investors’ problems,fromobtaining landto implementation of projects.

ERES aims to discuss Egypt’s economic situation in light of global and regional developments as well as the impact of local political developments on the economic outlook, according to a press statement. ERES opened as Egypt’s largest real estate exhibition approaches. Cityscape Egypt will be held April 9-12 at the Cairo International Convention Centre (CICC).

More than 250 leading real estate business officials and 40 speakers, including Minister of Supply and Internal Trade KhaledHanafy and the head of the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) Sherif Sami, are taking part in the third edition of ERES.

“The current interim government strongly believes the new legislative amendments are key to easing sector hurdles, improving Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and to re-ignite investors’ confidence,” added MinisterMadbouly.

The Ministry of Housing took solid steps to revive the sector for upcoming years, including easing land allocation processes in new cities, said Madbouly. “We are working to finalize all investor settlement cases in order to reinstate investor confidence in Egypt,” Madbouly confirmed.

Madbouly further noted that foreign investors do not care about investment opportunities as much as the government’s clear vision and plan for their investment, the competent body they will deal with and the duration needed for getting licenses to establish corporations and implement projects.

“The real estate bylaw will create this clear vision, which will manage the relationship between investors and NUCA, which will stimulate real estate investment in Egypt,” Madbouli said.

Egypt’s real estate market is one of the world’s largest markets in light of demand, which will multiply in coming years due to increasing population, according to recent studies, added the minister.

“The Ministry of Housing is developing a plan to offer new land with complete facilities for investment during this year,” said Madbouly, who further noted that the ministry has decided not to offer land with incomplete facilities to avoid problems with investors.

Meanwhile, the Egyptian Financial Supervisory Authority (EFSA) plans to launch Egypt’s first index fund in April to increase liquidity in the market and draw more investors, especially from Gulf States, chairman SherifSamy announced during the ERES conference.

“Amendments were also incorporated in the Egyptian Mortgage Law that was originally introduced in 2004,” Samy said.“The hindering effects of the law reflect on the funds’ volume, recording only 4.2 billion EGP in total.”

The real estate sector is a main contributor to Egypt’s economic growth, affecting more than 90 industries.The sector represented 4.6 percent, roughly 80 billion EGP (U.S. $11.5 billion,) of Egypt’s GDP during fiscal year 2012/2013, and recorded a 5.9 percent growth rate, according to data from the Ministry of Housing.

Approximately 35 billion EGP was invested in the real estate sector last year, accounting for at least 8 percent of the country’s labor force, according to the ministry’s data.

The Ministry of Supply and Internal Trade seeks to establish new commercial markets nationwide in collaboration with commercial investors, Minister KhaledHanafysaid in his speech at ERES.

New headquarters will be offered to realestate investors to establish such markets, which will “attract new investment, provide job opportunities for youth and expand modern trade,” added Hanafy.

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